Hong Kong’s Health System
Reflections, Perspectives and Visions
Edited by Gabriel M. Leung and John Bacon-Shone
August 2006
568 pages
6" x 9", 60 illustrations and 62 tables
HK$280 (Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan only)
US$40 (Other Countries)
Paperback 978-988-8139-55-2
Hardback 978-962-209-804-6
This edition is no longer available.

Having experienced benign neglect and inertia since the last major set of reforms when all public and subvented hospitals were corporatised in the early 1990s, Hong Kong’s health system now faces another round of consultation about reform. This book provides a significant contribution to the discussions about the future of the system.

The evidence-driven content draws from the deep expertise and experience of a wide spectrum of contributors, who represent virtually all relevant areas of the health system. Their multidisciplinary input, based on moral philosophy, political economy, macro-financing, health services research, business strategy and patients’ experience, reveals areas that require urgent attention and focuses on the issues that matter most if Hong Kong is to achieve better population health through the health system.

This book meets the critical need of students, academics, health care professionals, government officials, politicians, and the general public who have been struggling with how best to approach and understand the context and need for change.

This book is a project of the Medical and Health Research Network, The University of Hong Kong. The Network, a University-wide multidisciplinary think tank, was established in 1999 in response to the release of the Harvard Report. Its research core members are academics in the fields of clinical medicine and nursing, public health, social work, statistics and actuarial science, economics and finance. It further draws from the wider policy and practice communities in its education, training and advocacy activities. Its mission is to collect, analyse, synthesise and disseminate evidence related to health, long-term and social care in Hong Kong and East Asia.

Gabriel M. Leung was appointed Director of the Chief Executive’s Office in 2011, prior to which he had been Under Secretary for Food and Health since 2008. Before joining the Hong Kong government, he was Professor in Translational Public Health at the University of Hong Kong from 1999. He was Vice President and Censor in Public Health Medicine of the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine, and has served as consultant to various national and international agencies including the World Health Organisation and World Bank. He is inaugural Chair of the multilateral Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. John Bacon-Shone has been Director of the Social Sciences Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong since 1990. He spent three years on secondment to the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong government from 1998 to 2001. He has wide interests in applied statistics and policy research, including medical, environmental and privacy policy.


“This book succeeds in providing a careful analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Hong Kong’s present healthcare system and compares it with the systems in other countries with similar socio-economic circumstances. I hope that it will lead to an open and impartial debate, which may point the way forward.” —Rosie Young Tse-tse, Emeritus Professor, Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong

“Proper health care is a service that no society can do without. Embarking on health reform to achieve the ideal is the prerogative of most governments. Driven by data and supported by sound evidence, this book offers a tailor made vision for health reform in Hong Kong. It is a recommended compendium for all stakeholders in the health system.” —Leong Che-Hung, Executive Council Member and Chairman of the Elderly Commission

“Hong Kong has a health system that in many ways is unique. However, as this excellent book shows, it is also one from which the rest of the world can learn. The book draws together evidence and analysis in a way that anyone with an interest in health systems of whatever kind can benefit from; and, of course, for those with an interest specifically in health policy in Hong Kong, it is indispensable.” —Julian Le Grand, Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics